I Work So Much I’m Sore From My Chair

As a freelancer, I thought I was made for pandemic-style work life. Maybe I was wrong.

Meghan Daum

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Photo by Mattia Astorino on Unsplash

I am a workaholic and I have hit rock bottom. By which I mean I literally have a rock for a bottom. I have the beginings of a bedsore from sitting in my desk chair. A chair sore.

Is this really possible? I’m afraid it is. Yesterday when I was toweling myself off from my first shower in three days I noticed a patch of chafed skin over my tailbone. That’s strange, I thought. It’s not like I’ve been riding a flying saucer-style toboggan down a snowy embankment (somehow this came to mind as the only possible way to acquire a patch of rough skin in this particular spot). I’d merely been sitting at my desk, for roughly fourteen hours a day, for the last several weeks.

By “roughly” I mean “at least.” According to the helpful and horrifying screen usage app on my Mac, my daily screen time average was 12 hours and 24 minutes a day, which was down from the previous week’s average of 13 hours and ten minutes. I attribute that to having spent at least part of one day last week at a doctor’s appointment that required an hour of travel time, nearly two hours of wait time, and a precious ten minutes with the doctor. It felt like a vacation.

In my defense, my chair cushion is quite worn. If it weren’t flattened into something approximately the thickness of an oven mitt, I probably wouldn’t have rubbed myself raw. On the other hand, the reason for the flattening is the number of hours I sit on it, so I guess we’re back to where we started.

Honestly, this is incredibly embarrassing. I hesitated to write about it, but one of my professional obligations is to produce something for this space every week. It’s an enviable gig in many ways. I can write about anything I like. I could probably even draw pictures or post mp3 files of original recorded material if I wanted to. But I can’t draw and I never seriously pursued music, though not a day goes by that I don’t wish I had (ditto for wishing I’d joined the FBI). And so I’m left with writing about what’s on my mind. And what’s on my mind is my work. The kind that takes place in my chair.

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Meghan Daum

Weekly blogger for Medium. Host of @TheUnspeakPod. Author of six books, including The Problem With Everything. www.theunspeakablepodcast.com www.meghandaum.com